Customize the Google Now Launcher with Xposed Framework

Do you love the features of the Google Now Launcher, but miss having all of the settings from 3rd party launchers? There's good news! Read on...

Do you love the features of the Google Now Launcher on Android, but miss having all of the settings from 3rd party launchers?   Is your Android device rooted (or are you willing)?  There’s good news!  Now, you can customize the Google Now Launcher with Xposed Framework.

I Love to Customize my Launcher

Most people who prefer Android over iOS would say they like to be able to customize the experience and the look & feel.  This is mostly because of the flexibility of Android home screen launchers, widgets icon packs, etc.

I’ve tried a lot of Android home screen launchers in my day.  ADW, Apex, Mi Launcher, Go Launcher, Themer, and most recently, Nova Launcher Prime.  I love being able to completely customize my launcher exactly the way I like it.  Nova Launcher Prime was awesome for this.

Google Now Launcher’s Killer Features

But now, I’ve left all those behind for the Google Now Launcher (a.k.a. Google Experience Launcher).  It was a tough transition because I love lots of settings, meanwhile the Google Now Launcher has almost no settings at all.

So why did I choose to move to the Google Now Launcher?

  1. The leftmost screen is the Google Now screen.
    I love this feature, because I hated having to remember to tap on the Google Search app to see if there were any Google Now cards worth seeing.  Now, I find myself swiping aimlessly through my home screens just which causes me to catch a quick glance at Google Now on a regular basis.
  2. Always-listening voice commands from any home screen.
    Voice commands are cool, but the thing that makes them all the more useful is not having to tap anything to start listening for a command.  If I’m on any home screen, I can just say “Ok Google” and then the command or search query.  BTW, I say “command” because I’ve integrated the Google voice search with my home automation system.

While the #2 feature is available now on Nova Launcher Prime, the #1 feature doesn’t look like it’s going to come in any other launcher any time soon.  I read somewhere that the feature where the Google Now screen is integrated with the home screen is one that is closed source and is not something that can be easily added to the 3rd party launchers.

The Best of Both Worlds

The Google Now Launcher became a no-brainer for me when I discovered the Xposed GEL Settings module for the Xposed Framework.

Note: Xposed Framework requires that your device is rooted.

If your Android device is rooted (which mine always are), you can install the Xposed Framework and then install the Xposed GEL Settings (XGELS) module into it.

Basically, it give you almost all the settings you would expect to see in a 3rd party launcher, but they apply to the Google Now Launcher.  I’ve now customized my Google Now Launcher just how I like it, and I get to use the killer features that I can only get with the Google Now Launcher.

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